Monday, January 26, 2015

Saga, Vols. 1-4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

 I don't remember where I first heard about Saga (though I'd hazard a guess that it was somewhere on Booktube), but I am so glad I did. This is easily one of the Image Comics' top series at the moment and for very good reason.

When Marko and Alana fall in love, it isn't in a very normal situation. Marko is a prisoner of war and Alana is his guard. Their two planets have been wrapped up in a bloody war and each race views the other as something to be reviled. However, Marko and Alana fall in love despite everything and it isn't long before Alana becomes pregnant. If they thought they were in trouble before, it was nothing compared to this. Hazel, their new daughter, is viewed as an abomination and considered a political danger. The new family must go on the run if they want to stay alive, but even that's iffy when the dangers that follow them are so great.

Be warned, this is one graphic series. The author has no qualms about letting you know this from the get-go. The first of the series begins with Alana giving birth and the very first line is her saying, "Am I shitting? It feels like I'm shitting!" If that doesn't sell you, I don't know what will. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. I love how gory and graphic this series is. I think it adds that extra bit of realism to it. (More on that in a minute.) Just be warned that you're going to see a lot of nudity and a lot of gore. I mean look at the cover for Volume 2 for goodness sake. Marko's absolutely doused in blood.

I cannot say enough that I love everything about this series. The artwork is incredible, the story keeps you hooked from beginning to end, and the worlds contained within leave you begging for more. There's something about that level of world-building that takes me over the moon (and makes me intensely jealous that I couldn't create a world that detailed if I tried for the rest of my life).

However, I think one of the things that impresses me the most is how real it is. I know that sounds a little confusing, but I'm going somewhere with this. As fantastical as everything is, as captivated as the art makes me, and as thrilling as each new world is; I think it's how real the characters are that really makes this a winning series.

Every single character that steps onto the stage of this story is three dimensional. Every one has their own personality, their on flavor, that's so tangible that it's almost unbelievable. You really believe in these characters and become invested in them to a point where it's almost ridiculous.

If I keep going, I'm worried I'll spoil something in the plot, so I'll leave this review here. Just know that if you don't go pick this series up immediately, you'll really be missing out.

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